A gold testimonial ring which was presented to Sir Matthew White Ridley during the 18th century was recently auctioned on 16th September 2015.
The testimonial ring was presented to Sir Matthew by the Incorporated Company of House Carpenters of Newcastle, possibly due to a business contract he had secured for the organisation. The underside of the ring has been engraved, while a coat of arms is featured on the front, with a glass covering. According to the auctioneer, Nigel Kirk of Mellors and Kirk, the ring is a museum piece. He added:
“Although something of a colourful character, he was dedicated to the North East and his family still successfully operate the Blagdon estate to this day. It would be very nice if this ring could return to its Newcastle roots.”
Sir Matthew was Mayor of Newcastle in 1774 and became an MP for Newcastle later on. His political career lasted for more than 38 years. He owned Blagdon estate from 1782 and his family are still involved with the estate. The gold ring was valued between £400 and £600 and was auctioned by Mellors and Kirk, although the winning bid has not yet been disclosed.
Families often have special pieces of jewellery that are handed down to relatives, although occasionally some items do end up in the hands of collectors for various reasons. To keep rare items safe, an antique cabinet may be the preferred solution for a collector. A number of good quality cabinets may be discovered in antiques dealers in the Blackburn region.
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